Mystery School

Lisa Olstein

Is that dog looking at you? Research shows

that even wolves are attuned to the attention

 

of human faces. Is it getting closer?

You’re a social animal, other animals can make you

feel better about the world. I didn’t run away,

I’m just walking reads a note pinned by a person

 

now too old to ride to the halter of a horse out

wandering so no one will think she has wandered

 

too far. Sure we could converse with the birds

in our garden, once upon a time we thought

 

all animals were the same but they’re not.

You might find yourself wondering is this dog

 

even listening to me? The range of human hearing

almost completely matches that of birdsong.

 

Confirm humanity instructs the machine

making into code the data you feed it of yourself.

 

Does this dog even care? Maintain eye contact.

In the case of actual wolves, just use

 

your normal voice. In the entire kingdom,

not a single animal turns off its hearing at night.